Editor’s Note

Introduction to This Issue’s Poetry


James Wright’s “Hammock”: A Sounding


Love Is the Crooked Thing

Rough-and-Tumble Mercies


The Clergyman’s Wife Composes a Spring Letter

William Rimmer: “Flight and Pursuit”


The Birth of Time

Toy Soldiers


Driving the County Blacktop

The Waves at Matsushima

Parts Do Not Make a Whole

What the Right Hand Gives, the Left Takes Away

The Green House


Silver Lake

The Threshold for the Definition of “Numinous” is a Variable

Garden of Acclimatization

from Pond Subjects: 3. Fjord, 4. High School, 5. Edmunds!—, 6. Ishmael, 8. Narcissus, 13. Letter to My Brother, 16. Before Lauds

Problem Solving

By Ligi


The Rivers of England

The Air of Cathedrals

Anglian Music

The Pilot’s Daughter

Berlin Metro

Poem with Afternoon Light

My Lord

By Irina Ratushinskaya

Translated by Ilya Nykin & Pamela White Hadas

Leningrad Triptych

By Irina Ratushinskaya

Translated by Ilya Nykin & Pamela White Hadas

Britons Leaving France

The String Quartet of the Birds

The Fall

The Driver Kept on Going

Unintentional Lullaby

In Exile

By Shangi

Translated by Desmond O’Grady

Poem After Several Images in Calvino

Death: A Betrothal

Simple Sums


Varieties of Religious Experience

A Weekend at the Last Resort


August: Blues

Spring Afternoon

Exile’s Matins

Books by Nobody


An Art of Remoteness

My Old Man

Founder Askold Melnyczuk opens AGNI 21—an emphatically Whitmanesque issue—by stressing the role and responsibility of the poet, particularly in relation to the ongoing mystery of the American experiment. The poet must once again fuse “the material world, that of the body,” with “the spiritual world, that of the word.” This cannot be done purely through adherence to the conventions of technique. It requires imagination and careful perception, as found here in the poems of Agha Shahid Ali, Albert Goldbarth, Wayne Koestenbaum, Irina Ratushinskaya, Dick Allen, Rosanna Warren, and many others. Fiction by Lee Abbott and Sharon Sheehe Stark balance against an essay in which Sven Birkerts untangles the knots in James Wright’s “Hammock.”

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